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Blog Copywriting

5 Tips on Dealing with a Freelance Writer

I started my rodeo with freelancing sometime back in 2008. Over those years, I have had my fair share of projects that went sour. I realized that the most common source of problems between freelancers and clients is miscommunication.

Or the lack of it.

But what is it that will help you get the most out of your money? How do you ensure that you hire the right freelancer out of the millions out there?

Here are my tips:

  • Be clear with what you want
  • Agree on a schedule
  • Take the time to review the writer’s portfolio
  • Agree on the payment terms
  • Set reasonable expectations

Writing is not like baking a cake. There is no cookie cutter formula that you can apply. Clients also sometimes expect a New York Times quality article for $5.

Many times, I received requests to write an article that is not on the internet yet.

And the pay?

$10.

Obviously, I rejected these projects. There were also clients who wanted me to write a detailed a review of a software tool—and that I must use the tool. But the client wouldn’t provide me access to it.

The pay proposal from the client?

$15 for 1,000 words.

And the cost of the software tool?

$47 per month, charged annually upon registration.

It does not make business sense.

I need to be blunt and I have to say this: what you pay is what you get. As a client, you are not any different from an employer. Before an employer hires an individual, the applicant goes through an exam, and then an interview.

While you cannot replicate this in the freelancing world, there are some steps you can take as a client so you do not get burned. It is such a horrible experience to pay for an article, only to find out it is not written in the style and voice that you desire.

1. Be clear with what you want

What kind of article do you want? Is it a listicle, an essay, or a how-to?

There are many ways to write on a single subject matter. In some projects that I had, my clients handed over to me some keywords and nothing more. In my early days of freelance writing, I made the mistake of assuming that I knew what the client wanted, so I wrote the article in essay form.

Only, it turned out the client wanted a listicle. He was expecting that I squeeze 10 tips in a 600-word article. I re-did the article, but the client was already not impressed at the first delivery.

This going back and forth is a waste of time, and it all begins because the project was unclear. Both writers and clients have the responsibility to lay down the project in detail.

For example, you can give a writer the keyword “Facebook marketing”. This keyword is too broad. Writers will have many ideas how to work around this topic, but they may also write something you do not like.

A better instruction is to tell the freelancers to write 10 Tips to Make an Effective Facebook Marketing Campaign”. This couldn’t be any clearer, and the writer has the full guidance of the topic itself.

If you are paying for 1,000 words, it makes sense to tell the writer to split the words as evenly possible between the ten tips, the intro, and the summary or conclusion. This way, the freelancer will not write 300 words in the intro, another 300 words for Tip Number 1 and then spread out the remaining word count on the rest.

If he does that, the article will look awkward.

Also, you need to specify if you want bullet points or not. In my 11 years as a freelancer, I am amazed that some clients do not like standard methods of article writing for the internet.

There are some that prefer huge blocks of texts, and there are some who want the articles to be easy on the eye.

Be clear with what you want, and the freelancer will deliver a good job.

2. Agree on a schedule

You cannot expect writers to complete one project for you in one day. Writers are not machines. They have moods, and writing is a mentally draining task. I spend more than eight hours a day writing, and I am too exhausted to continue after that.

Some subjects are also tougher to write. Not all freelancers have an expertise on every niche. And this causes the writers to spend days to produce an articles that is up to par with your specifications.

On a schedule agreement, you need to set a milestone. If you ordered ten articles, do you want the writer to deliver all ten together?

Or would you rather that the writer sends one article, and then you discuss how to move forward with the project?

This option is better, especially if you are working with a freelancer for the first time. At the very least, you can check the first article and provide your feedback.

With a milestone, you can discuss the changes you want, and then allow the writer to revise his work until he gets it right. And then he can move forward with the rest.

3. Take the time to review the writer’s portfolio

Never order an article from somebody whose work you have not reviewed. Why am I saying this?

Every writer is a unique individual. Their tones of voice are different. Their vocabulary and style vary. Take the time to review a writer’s portfolio so you get to feel the writer’s style.

You cannot change a writer’s tone or vocabulary. And if you do not review a freelance writer’s portfolio, you may receive an article that does not fit your website’s voice.

I, for one, am leaning towards a no BS style of writing. I do not write with humor, and I avoid projects when I am forced to be a different person.

While I can write sales materials like as if I am the business owner, it is hard for me to write in a fictional voice, like a mascot or persona who has a specific set of characteristics.

I was once a mascot for McDonalds’—wore Hamburglar and Grimace. All I did was wave my hands, but I did not embody the mascot’s character.

On top of this, the portfolio should reveal the writer’s capacity to write in English. If it is his second-language, does he use it in such a way that passes as a native? What about grammar and syntax?

Does the writer add value or does he fill his articles with fluff? Is the article rich in information or full of useless gunk?

The writer’s portfolio will reveal all this.

Now, how can you be sure that his portfolio is real—that he wrote them?

One way to do this is to ask a writer only for published materials that carry his bylines. Read the published materials, and decide.

If he has none, look for someone else. It does not take money to create an online portfolio. If a writer cannot afford a website, all he has to do is to publish his articles on LinkedIn.

4. Agree on the payment terms

There are writers who would start work without a down payment, and there are those who will not work without it.

You cannot blame writers who ask for a down payment. I for one have been a victim of fraud. I have worked with some clients who promised to pay twice a month. I wrote articles on a daily basis for these clients, only to get conned.

These scammer clients kept on dragging the payment date, until I realized that these were con men who had no plan to pay. I had to demand payment for the articles I already wrote, and they gave me a lot of excuses.

I have ben scammed.

And I learned my lesson.

Agree on the payment terms, revisions, and terms of refund. If you prefer to use an escrow, then by all means use freelance marketplaces like Fiverr. The thing with these marketplaces though, is that they are too saturated with people who have no clue of what they are doing.

They fill their profile pages with fake portfolio samples, and you end up wasting your time. You can get a refund, sure, but a week waiting for a product is still a week.

Freelance marketplaces are also costly because the writers have to pay a 20% fee for each project cost. If a freelance writer is charging $20 for an article, he only gets to keep $16. So, he has to make up for that lost by increasing his price.

And on Fiverr, clients also pay a fee of no less than $2 for their orders.

What I would recommends is a 50-50 split. Pay 50% now so the writer can start, and then have him deliver a milestone. It is during this milestone where you can decide whether to continue with the project or ask for a refund.

Again, these details and expectations must be discussed before you commence on a project.

5. Set reasonable expectations

You get what you pay for. If you are expecting a $15-dollar article that packs a punch like movie reviews in Rotten Tomatoes, you are delusional.

Every writer reaches a level of incompetence, which is commonly known as the Peter Principle. And while we get better at it over time, improving your writing skills does not work out like muscles in the gym.

There are no vitamins that can make you write like Kurt Vonnegut Jr., or Joseph Heller, or Sydney Sheldon, J.K Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien.

Even if you increase the payment, you cannot squeeze out something more from a writer. What you see is what you get. Writers will improve, but this takes years.

Again, I cannot overemphasize that you check a writer’s portfolio.

As far as expectations are concerned, you have to go back to item number 1. If there is clarity about what you want, your writer is going to deliver.

Conclusion

Writing projects go awry because of so many reasons. Even in professional environments, writers and directors quit because they have creative differences against their colleagues. As a result, the project goes into development hell.

If this can happen to them, this can happen to you and me.

But there is a solution: communication and reasonable expectations.

11 years of copywriting. I know what I’m doing. Review my portfolio and if you like my style, we can work together in building our online business.

SUGGESTED READING:

Content Writing Versus Copwriting
5 Steps to Write an Article That People Actually Read

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Blog Copywriting

The Rise of Digital Nomads

If you have seen someone immersed in his laptop in Starbucks, then it is very likely that you have seen a digital nomad. They are called so because they do not have a single and permanent area to do their work.

Barcelona is one of the fastest growing hubs for these freelancers. It currently holds the third spot in Europe as a city with the highest number of freelancers.

But why work here?

Digital Nomads Origins

For centuries, we had to work in brick-and-mortar businesses. An accountant needs to go to an office, file his documents in a cabinet, and repeat this cycle every day for the rest of his life.

But the internet changed all this. Today, the digital highway is everyone’s playground. Anyone who has a skill can peddle his wares online. Employers also realized that they would significantly save on labor costs if they hired freelancers, as opposed to hiring full-time employees.

An employer is obligated by law to pay an employee’s minimum salary, health benefits, taxes, and other statutory financial obligations. Add to that the cost of the office space and you’ve got an employer who is probably close to just breaking even.

With freelancers, the employer only has to pay for the work done. And because there are millions of freelancers around the world, there is never going to be a shortage of workers, and the employer is not bound to select from talents in his area only.

A guy from Hong Kong can hire someone from Barcelona. And the freelancer from Barcelona can service people from the top economies in the world and get paid better rates.

The Rise of the Digital Nomads

Because of the internet, freelancers realized that they can cut the costs of their services and yet enjoy a lifestyle similar or even better than that of an office-wage earner.

Freelancers in Barcelona do not have to pay for transportation. They do not have to buy new clothes just to keep up with the trend. They do not have to eat out in fast food chains or make do with the horrible food in the office pantry.

They can work from home, from Starbucks, or even under a shed. For as long as there is WIFI, they can get something done. If these places are not conducive for work, then the only reasonable solution is coworking.

Fewer Dependencies from Employers

Coworking is a situation where several freelancers team up to rent a space. Typically, they have an equal share on the rent and the bills. Nobody occupies more space than the others because the only thing a person needs is a table and a chair.

In Barcelona, there are at least 100 coworking spaces available for rent to any freelancer. Those who are single can even rent an apartment together and work from there. Nothing is more convenient than a lifestyle where your home is your workspace, too.

You can work before you even brush your teeth. Storm? No problem. Come hell and come high water, you can get your job done.

Cost Effective Lifestyle

And because Barcelona is cost-friendly, many start-up companies choose this city to put up their companies. At €350 per month, one can rent an office space inclusive of utilities. If you want an apartment with toilet and bath, look for a partner and split €600 per month between the two of you.

In fact, most families in Barcelona can live decently at €1,200 per month. The minimum salary in Barcelona is €707. But keep in mind that this salary is based on the city’s economic conditions.

This salary factors in the expenses of an employer. But with the whole world at your fingertips, €1,200 shouldn’t be that difficult to earn, especially if you are offering high-level skills like digital marketing, coding, and app development.

Fast and Reliable Internet

Barcelona is a thriving city with millions of tourists every year. The government and business establishments know this. As a response to its tourism industry requirements, the city put up the right infrastructure to support its connectivity.

In Barcelona, you can expect free WIFI almost everywhere—from bars to beaches, hotels, and restaurants. On average, you can enjoy speeds up to 300MBPS.

This makes it one of the best places to be in a world of freelancing where you need to participate in Skype calls and get your online work done.

Unlimited Work Options

As a digital nomad, your only limitation is your skill. For as long as the job required can be done on a computer, then you have an opportunity to get that work and do it remotely.

Examples are:

  • App Development – if you are great at coding, you can find clients who want to develop mobile applications but have no skill or considerable resources to put up a team.
  • Copywriting – look for clients who need to sell their products online. Write their sales material for them.
  • e-Commerce Store Management – there are at least 500,000 online stores out there. Find one that you can manage daily, including the company’s social media presence and advertising efforts.
  • Bookkeeping – people all over the world have to pay their taxes and file it annually. Look for clients who need this kind of service and help them manage their legal obligations.
  • Virtual Assistant – take phone calls, sales orders, and answer customer inquiries, all at the comfort of your personal workspace.

Digital Nomads: Living in Future’s Past

What is the future of being an autonomo—a digital nomad—in Barcelona?

It is bright and promising.

The city has a great climate that can accommodate even the most sensitive person. The weather makes it conducive to work outside the house, right on the street, where you enjoy your morning coffee.

The cost of renting a decent coworking space is cheap if you just spend the time to find a good deal.

Getting around the world for physical travel is also easy. The airport is just 20 minutes from downtown. It is also close to neighboring areas where you can enjoy outdoor activities if you want to unwind.

The internet opened a floodgate. Freelancers came rushing in the online workspace like water and employers welcomed this opportunity with open arms. The freelancing industry is not going away.

If at all, it will become the standard. So, are you ready to live your life here?

Your work. Your rate. Your lifestyle.


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Blog Copywriting

4 Common Headaches Clients Face When Working with Freelance Writers

Your core competency as a marketer is to find the right niche of people who share the same interest with the product or service you sell.

The caveat is that these people need valuable insights and content from you. As a result, you work with freelance writers who, supposedly, have the competencies to deliver great content for your readers.

The nagging issue is that marketers face horrific results from freelance writers. Choosing the wrong freelancer causes you to lose valuable time since you either have to pick another one to redo the work, or you ask the freelance writer to edit what he has submitted.

Below are some of the most common headaches that a marketer typically has to deal with when doing business with a freelance writer.

The Inability to Follow Deadlines

Freelance writers do not work a nine-hour job, and thus they will hoard as many orders as they could. The flipside is that they do not meet these deadlines because they get swamped with work.

As a marketer, you should learn early on that you must provide yourself with an allowance as far as deadlines are concerned.

For example, you need to tell the writer that your deadline is Friday even if the actual day you need the article is Tuesday the following week.

This strategy gives you ample time to recover should the writer backs out or fails to meet the deadline.

The Inability to Follow Instructions

We need web content not only because we provide great and meaningful articles to viewers but also because we want search engines to index these articles.

Search Engine Optimization and Latent Semantic Indexing are two critical techniques in making websites appear on the top pages of search engines. The rules that govern these must be followed by the writer to make the articles search friendly.

But not all freelance writers are created equal. Some freelance writers perform poorly on following instructions, and this failure can result in an article that does not meet your SEO requirements.

The Inability to Create Valuable Content

Some writers are new to the industry. Some do not have what it takes to be a writer. As a marketer, you will meet writers whose idea of writing is to put as much fluff and nonsense in the articles.

Writers like these are those whose only goal is to meet word count requirement without taking into consideration the value that a reader and a client get out of the finished product.

As a marketer, it makes sense that you test out every writer you will partner with. And do not pay a dime if the articles submitted to you do not meet your standards.

The Inability to Use the English Language

These writers had their success with clients whose only goal was to produce an article that typical writing mills provide. They have also experienced success from clients who only care about keyword placement and not value.

Some examples of their English sentence structure are as follows:

“Your instant message ought to be laser engaged and brief. There’s no space for lightening in portable advertising. Know who your intended interest group is and talk specifically about it. Forget superfluous subtle elements and just depict how to exploit your offer and its advantages.”

Here is another one.

“Nobody needs to get writings from an organization unless the messages offer something of quick esteem. Since content informing is a prompt medium, you ought to incorporate continuous offers. Regardless of whether you’re giving data about a deal or another item, the message ought to depict the advantages of acting at this point.”

Horrible.

English is a second language for many writers, including me, which isn’t so bad except that many writers from some countries tend to translate English directly from their tongue. Worse, they use software spinners that regurgitate useless content.

The result is a terrible concoction of words that have no value whatsoever.

Summary

If you are purchasing your blog posts from freelancers, do not be afraid to ask for samples. Get the freelancer to go through a test, and pay for that test if you like what the writer did. If not, then you have nothing to lose.  

Categories
Blog Copywriting

Content Writer VS Copywriter: What is the Difference?

In the last ten years that I have been writing content, there were particular occasions when some of my clients asked if I write copy.


This stumped me, as I did not realize back then that there was a difference between content writing and copywriting. I skirted around the issue, and simply asked what they wanted me to do. Despite researching, it was a tad difficult for me to understand what copywriting was until I took a copywriting course.



Now, I do both, and I am going to share with you the differences between these two types of content. If you are a writer, I am hoping this will help you classify your services better. If you are a client, this article should help you decide what kind of writing service you need, depending on your goal. 


If you are a small business, you need to hire only one writer who can do both.


What is copywriting?

Do not confuse copywriting with copyright. A copyright is a legal term, which denotes ownership of written material. Copywriting, however, is a writing skill whose main focus is making sales. You typically see these forms of writing in commercials, billboards, and radio scripts. You will also find this in Google and Facebook ads. 

Examples of copywriting materials are: 

  • Advertisements
  • Product reviews
  • Product descriptions
  • Landing pages
  • Email campaigns

A copywriting material is there to make a reader take action. Companies need this to make sales, or to get leads into their sales funnel. A copywriting material always has a call to action found in the end, like Buy Now, Register for Free, or Download a Free eBook Now.

According to Dan Lok, “Copywriting is closing in print.” It is a skill where you have the ability to persuade the reader, influence his decisions, and make the reader engage.

What is Content Writing?

Content is pretty much everything that is not copywriting. For as long as the content does not aim to make a sale, it is content writing. 

Examples of these are: 

  • Listicles
  • How-to articles
  • Essays
  • Opinions
  • News

You write content to provide consistent value to your reader. Content is mainly used to connect to your readers, improve your credibility, and add value to your subscribers.  

The Similarities of Content Writing and Copywriting

Despite this main difference, sometimes there is a blurry line between the two. They do have similarities, too, and it can be confusing for both the client and the writer.

Here are the similarities:

  • Use of spoken words – both these two writing types talk to the reader in spoken words, not written ones. The audience is comprised of consumers, not academics. When you write content or copy, you are not supposed to create content in the same way a professor writes his thesis for his PhD. 
  • Adding Value – the bottom line for both styles is to add value to the reader’s life. The reader should have learned something after reading the content or copy, as both share important information—be it a product or be it about entertainment. 
  • Generate Leads – both content and copy eventually generate leads. While the copy is focused on making a sale, content is focused on convincing a reader to take action, like subscribing to an email list of a blog. 

So, what is really the difference? 

Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

The Differences Between Content Writing and Copywriting

To make it easier, we are going to layout the differences on a table. Take note, however, that these differences may be cross-functional. In cases like that, we can call the content as a hybrid. 

COPYWRITINGCONTENT WRITING
GOALMake salesConnect to the audience
STYLEDirect to the pointSupportive content to the actual copy
EVERGREENYESYES
  • Make sales – when you write copy, it is your duty to convince the reader to buy a product. 
  • To connect to the audience – the content is leaning towards creating a connection with the audience, and you typically do this by being informative, personable, and being an expert. 
  • Direct to the point – a copy is direct to the point. You layout the features and benefits of the product, what it costs, and what makes it stand out from the competition.
  • Supportive content to the actual copy – you generally need web content to support a copy. For example, you write content about why giving away free eBooks is important in growing your email list. This content supports a copy that aims to sell an eBook writing service or eBook writing software.
  • Evergreen – both types should be updated regularly to keep up with the times


What about a hybrid? If you are a writer, you can use the best practices of both types in one article. It is not unusual to find articles with headlines like Top 10… or The Best 10…

Articles like these are hybrids in a sense that they are content, and yet the writers are actually convincing you to pick one of those products in the list.

Do you need content or copy?

My answer to this is you need both. As a business, you need supportive content, and you need a landing page. You also need email campaign materials, which you can automate.



If you are a business, you definitely need copy for your ads on Facebook, Google, and other platforms. You also need landing pages, and only a copywriter can do that. You may also need these:

  • Website copywriting
  • LinkedIn content 
  • Video script copywriting
  • Brochure copywriting

Your website, however, needs SEO content for search engines to rank it. Your audience also needs valuable content to keep them coming back or to make your website credible. A website that has no content is nothing more than a billboard.  

Take a look at the screenshot below. It is the landing page of an affiliate marketer who is trying to sell a product called Vert Shock. The product teaches students how to improve their jumping skills so they can dunk like a pro.


The landing page is the copy. But on the top right, you will see that there are Shoe Reviews, Tools, and Articles. The content of those links is called content.


vertshock.com

Do you need different writers to do it?

This depends. Not all content writers write good copy, and vice versa. But there are those who have been in the industry so long that they can shift from one type to another.

For one, I have been a content writer and copywriter for over a decade, and I switch from one to another, depending on what my client needs. I have written for both individually owned businesses and large corporations, both for content and copy. 


If you are a small business, you need to hire only one writer who can do both. Big businesses can afford marketing agencies who have dedicated copywriting experts.

As a small business, the costs of paying these agencies may not do you financial justice, most especially so if your profit margins are not as high as the big boys’.

Summary

The main difference of content writing from copywriting is that copy aims to close a sale in written form, while content supports the copy and provides value to the reader.

If you are a small business, or perhaps an affiliate marketer who needs content for your blog, you do not need to hire both. Instead, hire one writer who is flexible enough to do both for you. You will save a ton—that I guarantee you. 


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Categories
Blog Copywriting

5 Steps to Write an Article That People Actually Read

Whether you are a blogger or a copywriter, you need to write an article that people would actually read. The thing is, it is easier said than done. If you look at the work of marketing gurus like Neil Patel, you would realize how he puts a great deal of effort on just one article. 


As a copywriter for years, I want to show you how to write an article that people actually read. First, you have to understand that the audience on the internet is not the same as your newspaper or book. People today want information, and they want it fast.

Here is a snapshot of what we will cover:

  • Step 1: Start with the end goal in mind
  • Step 2: Write an article with a structure
  • Step 3: Provide in-depth information
  • Step 4: Get personal in your writing style
  • Step 5: Cut, cut, and edit

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Start writing with the end goal in mind

What is the article about? This is the first question you have to ask yourself. Keep in mind that writing for the internet must be focused on adding value to the user, so it is best that you sit back and approach it from the top.

Your goal must reflect on your headline or title. And since you are writing for value, your article title must grab attention. The best article types, with the goal in perspective, are shown below:

  • How-to – these are articles that show people how to get something done. You use this type of article to provide instructional materials. It is a common goal of affiliate marketers and writers for product support.
  • Review – whether it is a product or a movie review, this article is about your opinion, the goal if which is to tell your reader how you feel about something. An example is this review of SaleHoo.
  • Listicle – the goal of this article type is to provide entertainment. It is somewhat closer to a trivia. This, however, can be a variation of a product review, as you can write articles about the top ten best phones, or the top ten dropshipping software tool

Here are two examples:

  • Comparisons – this is another kind of product review, but you pit one product against another. A typical product review focuses on the features, pros and cons, and benefits of a single product. This, however, is a direct comparison between at least two different products. The goal of writing this article is to help a reader decide which product to buy.

Now that you have a goal, you can start drafting your article, and you can do this by following the next step. 


Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

ClickBank University does not own or operate this website and is not responsible for its contents. It is owned by Aaron Matthew Ang, an independent marketing affiliate.


Step 2: Write an article with a structure

Any kind of work that provides great results come from a structure. Buildings have a structure, and so do written materials. A structure serves as the backbone of your article. Without this, you will ramble. 

In general, the ideal structure of an article is shown below:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Summary

Let us discuss each part of the structure further. 

Introduction

It is this part where you give your reader of a taste of what is to come. A bad introduction can cause churn. This is your elevator pitch, and you must be able to convince the reader that he has to continue reading. 

An introduction should be no more than three paragraphs. And make these paragraphs short. Somewhere in the introduction, you have to provide a short list of what you will talk about, especially so if you are doing a product review. 

This list applies on a case-to-case-basis. If you are writing a how-to article, you cannot possibly enumerate all the list on the introduction. In a case like this, a statement saying that a step-by-step instruction will be provided should be enough.

Body

The body of the article is the meat of the sandwich. If you manage the reader to get past the intro, then you must put in more effort to keep them reading the body. 



This is the part of the article where the reader gets value from your work. If you promised a listicle, then provide a list. If you promised a how-to, then provide step by step instructions.

This is where many writers fail, and they start to rumble, causing the reader to tap that dreaded X symbol on a browser.

Here are some tips to keep your readers hooked:

  • Write short paragraphs – no more than five lines, please. Huge paragraph blocks are a pain in the eyes and the head. 
  • Use numbers – use numbers in listicles and instructional articles. People find it easier to follow the steps if they know they are on step 1, or 2, or 3. It is also a great psychological tactic, as people have this mental craving to follow numbers to the end. 
  • Use bullet points –bullet points organize ideas under one category, and it makes it easier for a reader to skim through information.
  • Use bold typeface – select important words and highlight them. It makes an impact on the reader and helps the reader remember the important points you are trying to make.

Remember, the body of your article must deliver what your article title promised. Keep it simple. Keep it short. 

Summary

Never forget to add a summary or a conclusion. What is the difference between the two? 

A summary is a short version of what you wrote. A conclusion is like judgment, or a verdict, which you typically use in product reviews. 

It is in the summary part where you should add your last effort for a call to action. This is important if you are writing copy, or if you want your readers to subscribe to your blog.  


Step 3: Provide in-depth information

I know what I said—keep it simple. This does not mean you cannot keep it in-depth. People read for several reasons, the most common of which are:

  • Learning
  • Entertainment

A person who wants to learn would appreciate if you provide valuable information in every sentence. Amateurs use fluff, especially if the writer is paid to produce the content for someone else. It is not unusual for paid copywriters to fill their work with fluff just to meet the word count requirement. 

On the other hand, a person who reads for entertainment wants juicy information. If you are writing about the top ten NBA rivalries in history, then each rivalry in your list must contain enough information for the reader to understand:

  • The teams involved
  • How the rivalry started
  • The key events in the rivalry, like one player smacking the other
  • How the rivalry ended

Now, there is a pitfall to writing something in-depth. This commonly happens in how-to articles, where the writer adds irrelevant information.

If you are writing how to use a tool, and you told the reader to click on a particular button, move on to the next step. You can discuss what that button is for, but talking about who created that button, what year it was invented or used on the internet does not make sense.

This pitfall is called digression, a situation where the writer or speaker gets away from the main subject matter. 

Step 4: Get personal in your writing style

One of the best approaches to use today is to stop being an academic, unless, of course, these are your target audience. 

You have to write in spoken words, not in written words. Spoken words are informal, and writing this way makes the reader tread on familiar grounds. 

Here are some tips for writing in a personal, spoken form:

  • Do not be afraid to use slang
  • Use “I” and “you” instead of “we”
  • Use contractions like don’t, she’s, we’d have, wouldn’t, and more

Formal writing is a pain in the head, and it does not help in building a relationship with your reader. 

Step 5: Cut, cut, and edit

Still here? Great! 

The last step is to cut your article and make it short and sweet. Remove any elements that make it long-winding. Once you are done with your article, let it sit for a few hours. Read it again, and cut parts of it that do not add value. 

Read your article out loud, and decide if every sentence in there makes sense if you were to say it to a live audience.

As far as grammar is concerned, you can use tools to check your accuracy, like Grammarly, or you can hire experts to do it for you. Tools like Grammarly require a monthly subscription.

The great thing about hiring a freelancer is that it will cost peanuts to get it done, like about $5. I recommend the Fiverr marketplace because you get high-quality results at affordable prices. Registration is free, too.

Summary

Remember, there are only five steps you need to be able to write an article that people actually read. Start with the goal, write the body, and end the article with a CTA if you are writing material for a copy, or for marketing.

If you have learned something from this tutorial, subscribe to my blog here. As a copywriter, I constantly write articles to help writers overcome their challenges—challenges that I faced before. 


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